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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  Narendra Modi says he shares common goal with Baba Ramdev

Narendra Modi says he shares common goal with Baba Ramdev

Modi says he and Ramdev share a common goal of bringing back unaccounted money from abroad

Yoga teacher Baba Ramdev and BJP’s Narendra Modi paid homage to martyrs at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/MintPremium
Yoga teacher Baba Ramdev and BJP’s Narendra Modi paid homage to martyrs at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: Yoga teacher Baba Ramdev and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi came together on Sunday to ask people to vote for change in the Lok Sabha election that begins in about two weeks.

Narendra Modi told a gathering at Ramlila ground in Delhi that Ramdev was not a political person and didn’t support any political party, but the yoga teacher and he shared a common goal of bringing back to India unaccounted money that’s stashed in foreign banks.

Focusing on development, Modi said India will complete 75 years as an independent country in a few years and people should think “what kind of a country they would like to see when India achieves this milestone".

“Why cannot we think of a country where there is employment for youth, poor have their own houses with access to power and water along with all the basic amenities. Why can’t we build a country where farmers have water for agriculture," the Gujarat chief minister said, taking part in Ramdev’s yoga festival organized in memory of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

This is not the first time that Ramdev and Modi have come together. The yoga teacher is helping Modi in his campaign to build the Statue of Unity in Gujarat in memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who as India’s first deputy prime minister and home minister, led efforts to unite the country’s many regions and states into a single entity. He has also extended support for Modi’s candidature as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

Ramdev told his supporters that he has not gone back to Patanjali, Haridwar, since September last year because he has been busy driving his anti-corruption campaign.

The yoga festival was shown live at more than 600 locations in the country, according to the organizers.

According to Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman organization, the yoga teacher has followers in more than 638,765 villages in the country and this network will be used to spread of “Statue of Unity" campaign.

The Sunday meeting was the second time in three months that Ramdev and Modi have come together. During a public function on 4 January in Delhi’s Talkatora stadium, Ramdev offered support to Modi on the condition that the BJP leader should work towards bringing back the black money stashed abroad.

“People who were born after independence didn’t have the privilege of dying for the country like many freedom fighters. But the time has come for all Indians to start living for the country and work towards development of the country. Since we couldn’t die for the country, we can live for the country. Our life should be for the country," Modi said.

Meanwhile, religious leader Swaroopanand Saraswati of Dwarka on Sunday spoke to the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Mohan Bhagwat, to express his displeasure over use of religious slogans to promote Modi.

The RSS, the BJP’s ideological parent, said the organization had not indulged in the use of religious slogans for promoting Modi, and that Modi had asked his supporters to refrain from using the slogan “Har Har Modi". “Some enthusiastic supporters are using slogan Har Har Modi. I respect their enthusiasm but request not to use this slogan in the future," Modi said in a post on Twitter on Sunday.

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Published: 23 Mar 2014, 09:44 PM IST
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